Thursday, December 22, 2005

ON TRIAL

Some interesting developments in the trial of Saddam Hussein. He's accused the US of torturing him:
"I have been hit by the Americans and tortured," he said, speaking purposefully. "I have been beaten on every place of my body, and the signs are all over my body."
Strange that he's never mentioned it before:
Investigating magistrate Raed Juhi said Saddam Hussein had never before said he had been mistreated.

"My job requires me to ask each of the defendants if he has been abused, and... I have received no complaints," the judge told reporters on Thursday.
The White House has been less than impressed:
"That's one of the most preposterous things I've heard from Saddam Hussein recently," spokesman Scott McClellan said.

"Saddam Hussein is being treated the exact opposite of the way his regime treated those he imprisoned and tortured simply for expressing their opinions. And so I reject that."

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack described the allegation as "highly ironic."

"Look, he's been given to grandstanding in this trial, but where the focus should be is on the testimony of those people who were victimized ..." he told reporters.
Highly ironic? I should cocoa. Especially when:
Saddam Hussein said on Thursday that he was sorry to hear accounts of torture.

"When I hear that any Iraqi has been hurt it hurts me too," he said.

"The wrongs that were done to those people were wrong and, according to law, those who did it should get what they deserve."
You couldn't make it up.

Meanwhile, another trial looks like making waves in the Arab world. So have they decided to throw the book at Bashar Assad over the murder of Hariri? Of course not. From Ynet News:
The Arab Lawyers Union, a Cairo-based organization which includes twenty-four national bar associations of Arab countries, has decided to hold a moot court hearing against “war criminals who harmed Arabs and Muslims,” the Arab media reported Tuesday.

Comprising 400,000 lawyers from 21 Arab countries, the Union drafted a list of “war criminals” topped by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, U.S. President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

In the “indictment,” Prime Minister Sharon is accused of crimes against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, while Blair and Bush are held accountable for “war crimes” in Afghanistan and Iraq.
So far so good. But who have they got their eye on as potential judges?
The mock trial will be held at the Union’s headquarters in Cairo in February with organizers expecting to lure personalities like Nelson Mandela, former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhammad, and former Algerian president Ahmed Ben Bella to act as judges.
Ha! Mahathir? He of "Jews rule this world by proxy" fame? What a great idea: having an antisemite preside over the mock trial of a Jewish man. But, fear not. The jury won't be swayed by the man's Jew-hatred. Well not if the Arab Lawyer's Union have their way:
The Union’s head Abed Al-Azim Al-Mughrabi said London Mayor Ken Livingstone, British MP George Galloway and the Mufti of Jerusalem Sheikh Ekrama Sabri will also be approached to act as juries.
I can't help thinking this is an early April Fool's Joke. Presumably Michael Moore and Sean Penn are on the reserve list.

OK. So that's the judge and jury sorted, but who's penned in to play the role of prosecutor? A man who wouldn't miss it for the world:
The general prosecutor in the symbolic trial is expected to be former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark, who is one of the lawyers defending Saddam Hussein. The accused will receive indictment letters through their country’s embassy in Cairo.
When he's not defending the likes of Saddam or Milosevic, there's nothing he likes better than to sock it to those evil bringers-of-freedom Bu$h and Bliar...

What a joke.

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